Every day — whether I’m conscious of it or not — is an effort to avoid passing out. You see, I deal with an incredibly mild, and completely self-diagnosed case of anxiety disorder. My understanding of the term is thin, but I know it involves phobias, breathing into paper bags and Xanax prescriptions. My issue? I tend to collapse like somebody pulled my plug when I see shit like I saw on Sunday. You could have given me a king size Xannie bar, and it would have had no affect when I saw poor Kevin Ware’s leg snap like something out of a cheap horror flick.
Thing is, I wasn’t even watching the game. I’ve been glued to the TV this March, covering my pathetic bracket in red pen while my athletically apathetic girlfriend Brittany sits atop the leaderboard in our community bracket challenge like some sort of mad genius. Yesterday stamped my inevitable demise, and I have zero representatives in the final four – further proving logic plays no part in NCAA tournament predictions (& that’s why it’s wonderful). So I took the day off, and I’m going to add this to my ongoing list of reasons why there might just be a God.
Unfortunately for our lord and savior, he underestimated just how much of a wimp I am.
As I’m thumbing through my twitter updates, the horrific event hits my feed like an atom bomb. Some people choose to recount the event in detail, some sum up the injury with a simple “OMG”, some are offering prayers and thoughts to his family.
My hands are getting shaky
Then come the texts – “Did see that leg break?!?” from my buddy Jay.
The blood is draining from my head.
I know that if I want to live, I need to stay the hell away from the internet for 24 hours, because this is exactly the sort of thing you people can’t get enough of. I can’t even be in the room when a grinning Brittany decides she needs to see some footage from behind her laptop. The day becomes some sort of weird, impossible challenge to escape what’s viral. But there’s no escaping Kevin Ware’s tibia on this day.
Sometime around 9 pm, I see it. I’ll never un-see it. If you’re fortunate enough to be reading this without having the image branded into your brain, I envy you. Some asshole on Facebook assumed that the entire world needed to see Ware’s foot dangling from his ankle, forever cementing my opinion of him as an asshole (who’s obviously much tougher mentally than I am. Kudos). Brittany, seated next to me, immediately knows what just happened, because my head is tucked between my legs like I’m a grade-schooler during a tornado drill. I’m moaning like a dependent beagle left home alone. In a blur of a five minute window, I manage to grab a pack of a cigarettes, a cold bottle of water and retreat to my porch for some fresh L.A. air.
I don’t want to play basketball anymore. I don’t want to watch sports anymore. Hell, I don’t even want to jump anymore. In through the nose, out through the mouth. I’m still alive. In perhaps the most narcissistic portrayal of another man’s misfortune, I’m alright guys. Nothing to see here.
And truly, thoughts go out to Kevin Ware, because as tough as it is battling acute anxiety, I can’t even begin to relate to what that man went through for the last 24 hours. Strength and perseverance my friend.